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Texas A&M To Improve Early Literacy Skills For At-Risk Kindergarten Students

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Researchers at Texas A&M are monitoring the reading development of kindergarten students at-risk for reading disabilities. (Photo: Suzanne Tucker/Shutterstock.com)

The National Institute for Literacy Research indicates that early childhood development and learning is a pivotal time in a child’s life to build the proper foundation for good reading and writing skills. To provide educators with practical methods to help improve literacy skills, Nathan Clemens, assistant professor of school psychology and principal research investigator at Texas A&M University, is working with a team of professors in the College of Education and Human Development to monitor assessments for kindergarten students at risk for reading disabilities.

The four-year research project, Early Literacy Measurement Project (ELM) is funded in part by a recent $1.6 million dollar grant awarded in July by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Services. The project will monitor about 600 kindergarten students in Texas. The project is also a collaboration with Southern Methodist University (SMU). Approximately half of the data will be collected from the SMU site.

The overall goal of the research project is to

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investigate assessments that are currently used to monitor reading development of kindergarten students at risk for reading difficulties and to identify assessments that are most efficient and practical. They will also examine other factors such as a student’s ability to understand instructions and language proficiency. Additional outcomes of the project are expected to identify practices that are the most reliable, practical and sensitive to growth patterns for monitoring the reading progress of kindergarten students at risk for reading disabilities.

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